Ace Noland – Transgender expression in Theater
Transgender? Got theater? Theater has always held a warm place in my heart. Maybe because one of the first places I heard about cross dressing in a socially acceptable way was in Shakespeare plays when men played the parts of women. I also understand the common path that drag and theater play together, realizing the two are like cousins. I get that its a family and a group connection experience that is like no other. We get to know each other behind stage even more than you see us on stage. Often people will talk about the connection of community in theater and there is no mistake that its an important community for a lot of people. Another fact I know about theater community is that gender bending is NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF! In fact when you are able to play either side of the gender binary in costume then that makes you more vital in theater. A person that is comfortable in either gender is great to work with and someone that plays an e-feminate boy or a masculine girl can be priceless to someone trying to cast the part. Theater loves gender bending in a way that celebrates it, puts it on stage, and says “Hell ya!” – Loving this expression on stage as a reflection of true humanity.
So when Ace told me they were part of a theater group I was excited for them. I knew that meant not only would Ace have the opportunity to play their masculine self as a farm boy but also they would have community that would celebrate their gender variance, rather than shame it. Many of us suffer in our day to day lives with gender dysphoria and trying to find some way to deal with it is half the battle. We grow eager to be seen as something other than our assigned gender. We get restless and often anxious. I have found drag and Ace has found theater, cousin expressions. Ace appeared in a show in Loveland, CO where art and personal expression shine as bright as the sun. The town is full of ways to personally express oneself and is known for the Arise Festival.
Ace Noland is a transgender volunteer for DiversiTree.org – We appreciate their Christian perspective as a whole and know that transgender is its own connection that transcends brother/sisterhood. So when Ace said they were a part in a show at a theater in Loveland, CO I was excited. I was even more excited to learn that his playwrite included a perspective on history that was rarely spoken of. I was proud of Ace for being part of expressing the real history of how American’s kept Prisoners of War during World War II. The german prisoners were kept as agriculture slaves in a variety of states including this Colorado area. The story unfolds as a young farm girl reading letters from her brother, whom is also a POW in Germany, describe the perspective of the USA soldier. Much of the play unfolded as a story about bigotry, ethics, war, love and peace – with moments of laughter and emotional engagement that made the entire show fun to watch. This entire play brought facts and emotions together in a way that helped us explore our own bigotry. Leaving us to deeper understanding of how humanity misunderstands itself.
This story brings you deeply into love, war, bigotry and misunderstandings. Also this story held a special place in a transgender person’s life. The packed theater on a Saturday afternoon gave meaning to Ace Noland’s transgender life in a way that helped them find another expression of themselves that served the community in a good way. Shame didn’t come into play when I talked directly to the director about the choice for Ace for the part. She thought Ace was perfect for the part regardless of Ace’s assigned gender, what really mattered was their ability to play the part. Ace’s desire and inner transgender landscape helped them be driven to be the best person for this part. Here’s is a quick interview on Ace’s experience with the show.